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      Biosphere Reserve Information



© Photo: George Pond
  General Description   This biosphere reserve encompasses a rich mosaic of ecological systems associated with the erosion deposit sand spit formations in the Laurentian Great Lakes, as well as some of the largest remaining forest tracts in ‘Carolinian Canada’. The variety of habitats supports a rich flora and fauna, including a waterfowl staging area and migration stop-over area for land birds with a continental importance. This has been recognized by its designation as a Ramsar site and as a globally significant Important Bird Area by BirdLife International. Long Point Bird Observatory and visiting bird watchers are estimated to contribute about 1.5 Canadian dollars annually to the local economy (2001). Established in 1960, it is the oldest continuously operated bird observatory in North America.
Long Point Biosphere Reserve has about 500 permanent residents and at least 3,000 seasonal ones (2001). Human interventions range from coastal wetlands management with restricted access through to intensive cottage and recreation development in the Long Point complex and Inner Bay area of the biosphere reserve. On the mainland, they range from forest management and restoration to conversion of lands into intensive agriculture.
A non-profit charitable organization known as the Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation raises its own funds. Given the cross-affiliation of people in the Foundation with some governmental and non-governmental organizations, Long Point Biosphere Reserve has become accepted by the local community and ensures communication and cooperation.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate and sub-polar broadleaf forests or woodlands including lake system
  Major habitats & land cover types   Long Point is an erosion deposit sand spit formation with habitats including woodlands and shrubs, sand dunes and bluffs, marshes and small ponds, lakeshore and beaches. Main species include Populus deltoides, Juniperus virginiana, Larix laricina, Thuja occidentalis etc.; Inner Long Point bay with musk grass (Chara vulgaris), Eurasian milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum), wild celery (Vallisneria americana), and naids (Najas flexilis); deciduous forest tracts characterized by wet red maple (Acer rubrum) and silver maple (A. saccharinum) swamps, American beech (Fagus grandifolia) and sugar maple (A. saccharum) uplands, oak (Quercus spp.) uplands, and buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) and dogwood (Cornus spp.) thickets; lake systems
  Location   42°35'N; 80°23'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   40,600
  Core area(s)   6,250
  Buffer zone(s)   34,000
  Transition area(s) when given   350
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +175 to +188
  Year designated   1986
  Administrative authorities   Canadian Wildlife Service, Environment Canada; Long Point Company; a mix of private and public ownerships, notably the Big Creek National Wildlife Area
  Brief description   Application of global climate models to depict possible climate change and its effects
Review of instrumental climate records from the Long Point area as part of a comparative study of recent trends in biosphere reserves in Canada
Dynamics of longshore transportation of sediments and on-shore movements of these sediments into foredunes and other dune areas
Conceptual framework to apply environmental stress-response analyses for the Long Point barrier system, and the implications for policy and management actions
Assessment of high-resolution remotely sensed imagery for wetland mapping and monitoring for management purposes
Geomorphological processes at Long Point and implications for flooding and restoration measures in the more vulnerable portion of the cottage development area
Water quality sampling in Long Point Bay for major ions, nutrients, metals, and organochlorine pesticides
Analysis of sediment and associated pollutants entering Long Point Bay from the Big Creek watershed
Limnology in relation to aquatic plants consumed by waterfowl
Influences of the introduced zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) and quagga mussel (D. bugensis) on the abundance of aquatic macroinvertebrates and as a food source for waterfowl
Analysis of snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) eggs for toxic contaminants (polychlorinated biphenyls, furans, dioxins) and evidence of abnormal development (under the terms of the Canada-US Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement (GLWQA))
Population biology of Fowler's toads (Bufo [woodhousei] fowleri) and of softshelled turtles (Apalone spinifera)
Marsh monitoring for calling amphibians and breeding birds (program administered by BSC and incorporated into binational basin-wide monitoring under the GLWQA)
Population trends in migratory landbirds and factors associated with observed fluctuations
Long-term monitoring of the recovery of vegetation and breeding bird populations on Long Point following major reductions in the deer herd in 1989 and 1990
Habitat requirements of forest-interior birds and the implications for forest management
Forest inventories and restoration using native species
Population dynamics of tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) and of hooded warblers (Wilsonia citrina)
Habitat use, diet and migratory movements of tundra swans (Cygnus columbianus) and possible ecological effects of swan populations on other waterfowl
Ecology of deer tick (Ixodeo sp.) and the transmission of Lyme disease
Surveys of road-killed animals
Counts of salamanders in the SI/MAB plots
Documentation of historical changes in land cover/use
Comparison of different methods of buffer maintenance along agricultural drains for erosion control, enhancement of wildlife habitat, and costs
Interests and concerns of non-governmental groups
Pilot project for reforestation linked to "carbon credits" for emissions trading under the Kyoto protocol
Economic base study, every five years
Annual compilation of key demographic, economic, agricultural and environmental indicators frequently sought by area councils and residents or general public
Updates of residential, commercial and industrial activity in terms of demands or effects on water and sewage services
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Abiotic factors, climate, contaminants, erosion, geomorphology, global change, habitat, hydrology, modelling, nutrients, pollution, pollutants, siltation/sedimentation, toxicology/toxic substances.
  Biodiversity   Afforestation/Reforestation, amphibians, biology, birds, breeding/reproduction, dune systems, ecology, forest systems, invertebrates/insects/spiders, methodologies, migrating populations/migration, plants, population genetics/population dynamics, reintroduction, reptiles, restoration/rehabilitation/redevelopment, vegetation studies/plant cover, wetlands, wildlife.
  Socio-economic   Agriculture/Production systems, demography, economic studies, industry, stakeholders' interests.
  Integrated monitoring   Environmental quality, impact and risk studies/environmental impact, land use/land cover, management issues, mapping, monitoring/methodologies, policy issues, remote sensing, watershed studies/monitoring.
  Contact address   Paula Jongerden
Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation
255 Indiana Road West, RR#3
N0A 1H0 Hagersville, Ontario
  Telephone   (1.905) 768 5166
  Fax   (1.905) 768 4133
  Web site

Last updated: 26/02/2007

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